H&M reports a 9 percent sales increase for the first quarter, but the negative US-dollar effect won’t be neutralized until the last quarter this year.
”This has made our purchasing much more expensive, as well as increased markdowns due to larger volumes of winter garments that remained as a result of the warm autumn,” says CEO Karl-Johan Persson.
The H&M group’s sales including VAT in March 2016 increased by 2 percent in local currencies compared to the corresponding month the previous year. Sales including VAT increased by 9 percent in local currencies in the first quarter. Converted into SEK, sales including VAT increased by 8 percent to SEK 50,624 m (46,791). Sales excluding VAT amounted to SEK 43,691 m (40,276).
“This should be seen in the light of a very good first quarter last year when sales increased by 15 percent in local currencies and profits in SEK increased by 35 percent.,” says CEO Karl-Johan Persson.
He says profits in this year’s first quarter have been negatively affected by a continued very negative US-dollar effect, as well as by increased markdowns due to larger volumes of winter garments that remained as a result of the warm autumn.
”The spring will bring many store openings, for example the opening of flagship stores in South Africa, Switzerland, Hungary and India. Since 2010 we have doubled the number of stores in the group, and this April we will pass another milestone when store number 4,000 opens. The store will open in Mall of India, New Delhi – in India, where H&M has had a very good reception since the first stores opened last year.”
As of 31 March 2016 H&M offers e-commerce in an additional seven countries: Croatia, Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Slovenia. Very soon H&M will launch e-commerce in Japan and later in the year also in Greece, Canada and South Korea.
”This year alone we will add 11 new H&M online markets. Preparations are under way for a continued roll-out into all markets in the group.”